George Fox Evangelical Seminary is now Portland Seminary. Learn more

Darla Tillman-Samuelson

Darla Tillman-Samuelson

Director of Masters Programs


Portland Center South: Office 267


I have been working in seminary education for more than 10 years. My focus has been generating Christ-centered learning communities in the cohort-hybrid programs through the innovative delivery system developed by the seminary in 2005-2007. Recently, my focus has been expanded to include all of the seminary masters programs, both onsite and online. In collaboration with the seminary faculty, staff, administration and student leaders, my desire is to nurture the seminary’s culture of hospitality. My intention is to provide opportunities for all students to develop connections that foster an engaging, lifelong learning community through the seminary, into church and the local and global leadership contexts. I am passionate my work at the seminary!

Another passion of mine is understanding the interconnections of vulnerability and authentic leadership in female religious leaders. The basis of my research is Brené Brown's Shame Resilience Theory. I am over-my-head in reading and writing during off hours, towards completing my dissertation at Gonzaga University's Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies program. It is grueling and it is life giving. 

My work, reading, writing, and running. Yep, another passion of mine is running and I am grateful to have the health to run long distances. My favorite run is on the wildwood trail in Washington Park with my two dogs. It is in the woods that I sense the presence of God; it is a sacred space for me. 

Passion also runs deep in me for those that I love. I am a recorded minister with the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends and engaged in leading Showers and Laundry Day with RiversWay Friends, and Just Compassion, a network of businesses and faith-based communities that serve the people without homes in East Washington County. My husband and I have four adult children, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter. My family is the truest representation of learning and loving. 

Academic Background

PhD candidate, Gonzaga University; MDiv, Portland Seminary; BA, Bethel University